In the words of George Orwell, “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” Language has been spoken for over 350,000 years. It has expanded tremendously, but its power has never changed. The use of language shapes peoples' perceptions and the depth of interactions because it can demean, avoid, portray emphasis, persuade, and conceal from simple phrases such as “I feel like” and “just”.
The Only Language Widely Used Language plays a significant role in defining who we are. It is a method of communication in a structured and conventional way. “Language reinforces feelings of social superiority or inferiority; it creates insiders and outsiders” (p. 242) states Robert MacNeil (2012) in his article “English Belongs to Everybody”.
1.Throughout the essay, Orwell talks about many of the problems in English language and how they all contribute to its downfall. One reason for its decline is the use of dying metaphors. A dying metaphor is one that has no impact on the reader, it has no meaning, and doesn’t enhance the readers experience. Another reason is the use of verbal false limbs and pretentious diction, which are used to make single words or short phrases into unnecessarily long and complex phrases in an attempt to sound smarter or more sophisticated. They also use words that are from Greek and Latin language. By bringing in another language into our own, we begin to break away from our origin of the English language. Next, meaningless words are also a problem
George Orwell’s essay, Politics and the English Language, first published in 1946, talks about some “bad habits”, which have driven the English language in the wrong direction, that is, away from communicating ideas. In his essay he quotes five passages, each from a different author, which embody the faults he is talking about. He lists dying metaphors, operators, pretentious diction, and meaningless words as things to look out for in your own writing and the writing of others (593-595). He talks about political uses of the English language. Our language has become ugly and the ugliness impedes upon communication. Ugly uses of language have been reinforced and passed down in the population “even among people who should and do know
Rhetorical Precis: “Politics and the English Language” George Orwell, in an essay from Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays titled “Politics and the English Language” (1950), argues that the English language, through a cyclical process of sloven language and foolish thought, has become “ugly and inaccurate.” He supports his argument by using expert opinion, metaphors, and historical context. Orwell’s purpose is to demonstrate the debasement of the English language in order to prompt writers to make a conscious change in their writing . He adopts an informal tone (“Look back throughout this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against”) for writers in a time of political turnover and rising superpowers.
Language is a tool that may be used in thinking, but it isn’t the sole basis of
How Addiction Stigma Compels Secretiveness Language is an incredibly powerful tool for communication and the words we use control the
Keren Gaona The University of Texas at El Paso Global Business 3304 May 19, 2016 According to the speculations of linguistic expert, John McWhorter, who wrote the article, “What the World Will Speak in 2115,” in one hundred years English will become the most widely understood language. If current trends continue, in the future one can imagine a world in which humans all share a single universal language. Having a common language would potentially open the doors to many opportunities for increased economic activity and cultural interaction. Additionally, as we travel into the 22nd Century, lesser used and more complex languages that are spoken today will become extinct. Subsequently, the few languages that survive will evolve into
Relationship between thought and language is not something you consider or contemplate in your everyday life. Nevertheless, the answer to this seemingly useless philosophical question might spell the difference between totalitarian control of our minds achieved through manipulation of language and a world of freedom, where human ideas cannot be subjected to blatant perversions as they resonate through intelligent minds, bound only by the power of our imagination. This dilemma has captivated my attention ever since I read Orwell’s “1984” as well as his “Politics and English Language.” In both pieces, Orwell implies a direct correlation between the two notions and paints a horrifying picture of disastrous consequences that a language manipulation can usher in. Orwell’s claim that “if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought” clashed with my own perception of those concepts somewhere deep on a subconscious level. “Language could not possibly alter a thought,” I thought, “How could it? After all, language merely describes my thoughts, whereas thoughts are generally spontaneous ideas, sounds, pictures that flash though my mind’s eye, sometimes so fast, that I fail to grasp them before they fleet away.” Even though in his article Orwell was referring specifically to bad practices that are common in the use of language, the question persisted. Can a language influence thinking in the same manner as thinking influences the words being uttered or does it have
Language: A Political Instrument Language is the inevitable medium that people use as a means of communication. However, how that person uses the language that they have varies from person to person. Some view language as a persuasive political instrument and others view it as a means of expression and empowerment. In the essay “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” by James Baldwin, he was able to illustrate the history of the discrimination of language and how black English is not accepted as its own language. Baldwin also shows that due to the lack of acknowledgement of black English, it lacks the power it needs to empower the people who speak it. In the essay “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell, he was able to break down language and explain how language shapes reality. Orwell expresses that he is not considering the literary use of language, but language is an instrument of expression and the promotion of cognitive deliberation and persuasion. Furthermore, both these authors agree that language is a political instrument, however, Baldwin uses this instrument to unite people and Orwell uses the instrument to persuade people.
The main reason that Boroditsky’s argument that language shapes our minds is valid is that the research she did with her teams covers a wide variety of aspects on this topic while still keeping her article cohesive. The first research Boroditsky introduces to her audience is the research on the Kuuk Thaayorre, which is an
In an ever changing world we have seen the number and complexity of languages become reduced. In a Wall Street Journal article entitled What the World Will Speak in 2115, John H. McWhorter advocates for the world to see these changes as necessary and a way for communication worldwide to become more efficient and simplified. McWhorter shows how language has been streamlined for centuries as a way for citizens to adapt rather than viewed as an extinction of culture. Modern English is likely to become the dominant language worldwide but more so for the fact that it can be easily learned and is open to transformation with the times. Despite the fears of a world where lingual diversity is reduced, McWhorter suggests that there will still be variation to promote culture and communication with people from all backgrounds will be easier. The following is a summary and analysis of McWhorter’s main points describing the simplification of language. Following the summary of main points will be a hypothetical situation in what the world language could consist of 100 years from now.
Originally published in the Wall Street Journal in 2010, Lera Boroditsky’s paper titled “Lost in Translation” analyzes the impact language has on thought. Formatted as more of a persuasive than truth seeking essay, Boroditsky begins by asking the reader if the language a person speaks shapes the way they think. This makes the reader believe as though she is truly trying to find an answer to this inquiry, but as the paper goes on, the reader is mostly introduced to evidence that supports Boroditsky’s stance and she merely touches upon the argument of the opposing side. Although Boroditsky does not include more counterarguments, “Lost in Translation” is a well written article which demonstrates that languages indeed shape the way people think through her use of the Rhetorical Triangle, inductive logic, and her stylistic choices.
TOK ESSAY: WHAT COMES FIRST LANGUAGE OR THOUGHT? The first thing that I was reminded of by this topic is the man and the woman question. We have always been wondering who came first in the world: man or woman? Scientifically it has not been proved yet that who came first. We cannot just come to a conclusion regarding who came first. The same is valid to knowledge and thought. Knowledge and thought are both inter-linked. I will be dealing each concept separately so that we can come to know the relationship between language and thought.
Taken together I do think linguistic processes are obtrusive in most fundamental domains of thought, unconsciously shaping us from the nuts and bolts of observation and perception to major life decisions.